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Last updated:
January 2009


Julene Tripp Weaver has her BA in creative writing from City University of New York. She has a Masters in Applied Behavioral Science from the Leadership Institute of Seattle, and works in HIV/AIDS Services. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails her Blues. Garrison Keillor featured a poem from her book on The Writer's Almanac. Her poems are published in many journals including Main Street Rag, The Healing Muse, Knock, Nerve Cowboy, Arnazella, Crab Creek Review, Pilgrimage and Letters to the World Poems from the Wom-Po LISTSERV.

In the Evening | A Poem in Twenty Lines


In the Evening

The skull on the poet's desk is the most well-known memento mori,
latin for "Remember that you must die." The Elizabethan fashion to
keep a skull on the writing desk served as a reminder of the futility
of human endeavors, of life's brevity and uncertainty.

I sit and read an article—
a forty-one year old publisher
had a brain aneurysm, he lives
to write about waking up paralyzed.

I insist, read this.

Later, you find me, article half read,
tears in your eyes.
Recent executor of your father's estate
you learned things I will never cross—

there is the fact of our wills
all the steps of dying
we have yet to lay out
mementos we would rather avoid.

We sit quiet in the darkening living room
ponder life-forced events
the theft of our car
the war on the other side of the world

the flutter of butterfly wings—
their affect of love unnoticed.

Pensive, we lock eyes,
resting in this sober moment.

A Poem in Twenty Lines

A good poem can be written in twenty lines.
Yes, but how long those lines,
when originally there were no separations
between words even.
The writing a long run on
squeezed in space;
It is us poets who make space—
the reader's delight-helps make the writing
easy to read (if not to understand).
Lots of slowness now in the string of words
our commas, semi-colons, periods,
line breaks, yes, even dashes—
we breathe into the poem
the pauses that give pause
make meaning in a twist
of the tongue upon the break-up
of the line, where the accent lies.
A good poem in only twenty lines
comes to a close
in a short gasp.
(Conklin’s latest is a pen of magnificence, with turn of the century design motifs. The Royal Crescent features a sterling silver filigree in art nouveau, laid over a brilliant blue resin foundation. Courtesy of “Joon Pens.”)